THE RAGGED EDGE OF NIGHT by Olivia Hawker
It all started with a notice in a German Catholic periodical, ESPRIT, in 1942. This set in motion the story of THE RAGGED EDGE OF NIGHT by Olivia Hawker…historical fiction about a former friar, a widow with three children and a small rural town during WWII called Unterboihingen in Wuttemberg, Germany. Here’s the cover I created for the novel…
This is a true story about Franciscan friar, Anton Starzmann, who was a music teacher for special needs children. The Nazis took the children, deeming them “unworthy of life” and shut down Anton’s religious order. Stripped of his beloved children and his life as a friar, he responded to a notice in a Catholic periodical (as seen on the book cover I created above,) married the widow who placed the notice and moved to her little town in Wuttemberg, Germany. As Anton adapted to the roles of husband and father, we learned what life was really like in the country, where threats existed but bombs were mostly at a distance. Although filtered through a somewhat religious lens, (as would be expected from a former friar,) it was nonetheless believable. The book focused on relationships and the lives of real people…a touching story of courage and morality in the face of evil. It showed the importance of small acts of defiance from German people who wanted to resist and found ways that didn’t endanger their families.
The author’s writing is lyrical, beautiful, eloquent, poignant and thought-provoking. It contained elements of hope in a damaged world, as Hawker was even able to put a credible, compassionate face on the soldiers who were committing unspeakable deeds (against their will.) Within the pages of THE RAGGED EDGE OF NIGHT, author Olivia Hawker offers us yet another point of view…that of the German people. This book is the most comprehensive and sympathetic coverage of the everyday life of the German people under the Nazi reign that I’ve ever read! Highly recommended!!